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What cha thinkin’?

MC900059188The single best way to find out what kind of issues your staff is having in their jobs is to ask them.  However, we all know that not everyone is going to be honest especially when they are concerned that their answer will impact their job security.

There is a way you can reach out to your employees and learn more: The anonymous staff survey.

It is simple really. Draft a document that asks some general questions about their overall satisfaction. You can include things like.

  1. What do you like about your job?
  2. What do you dislike about your job?  
  3. How do you feel about the people you work with?
  4. What would make you happier at work?
  5. How do you stay motivated?
  6. If you were a car what kind of car would you be?

Okay, that last question is more for fun, but I think fun in the office is important too.

I would be quirky and useful.

I would be quirky and useful.

Pass out the forms and request that each staff member return it to a central secure location. Offer a small reward for everyone who completes it. Assure them that the answers are anonymous and that you want to use this information to improve processes, procedures, and the overall office environment.  Remember, if you promise anonymity you can’t try to play detective and figure out who said what.  

Now it’s your turn.  You get to use the information to fix anything that is hindering your employees from success. Far too often managers will conduct satisfaction surveys out of some sense of obligation but essentially drop the subject and ignore the results. This is the whole reason you did this right?  So you owe it to your employees and to yourself to make efforts to improve things.  

You may be surprised at the patterns that emerge. If more than one person suggests that the break room can offer healthier snacks consider implementing this. If a lack of creative control or stagnation is a problem offer ways to enrich their jobs.

But there is always another side of the story.  Some business experts advise that the anonymous employee survey should go the way of the Dodo Bird. They suggest if you want to know how your employees are doing simply ask them. No forms, no secrecy . . . just have a conversation.  

There are pros and cons to both and I always encourage open communication but it is important to use the tool that best fits your business.

Are you looking for more ways to improve motivation in your office and address employee concerns? I specialize in encouraging office superheroes to emerge! Contact me for more information on motivational speaking and coaching today!

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